On Wednesday Jan. 9, approximately 45 current students and alums attended a career panel in New York City. Organized by Mark Shapiro '82 and held at the office of his employer, Lehman Brothers, the panel was designed to allow the panel to talk with the students about career issues they’ve encountered.
“The concept for the panel,” says Shapiro, “was not to talk about specific jobs, but rather, about the ‘career journey.’ Everyone on the panel had changed jobs at least once, and a number of us had even changed careers.” Subjects for discussion included finding and adjusting to a first job, changing jobs, dealing with a difficult employer, making oneself competitive, and finding a true career direction.
The time for an open-forum question and answer session resulted in “a lively discussion with the panel and audience,” says Bob Murphy, the director of the Salisbury Center for Career Services. Many people stayed to talk and ask questions after the panel had concluded.
Shapiro, having mentored HWS students looking for jobs in finance and law in the New York City area, connected with Murphy last year, and was encouraged to assist the Center for Career Services. With the 25th Reunion of the Classes of 1982 just celebrated and in the spirit of passing on knowledge gained, Shapiro contacted classmates working and living in the area to assist and sit on the panel.
In addition to Shapiro, panelists included:
• Henry Jackson, who is in charge of technology for New York City’s Office of Emergency Management, who helped the city through 9/11 and won a Sloan Foundation award for his efforts;
• Mallory Weil, who spent 18 years in marketing, 10 at Coach, the leather and fabric manufacturer; who then changed to selling real estate, in order to spend more time with her family;
• Drew Nelson, a partner at the law firm of Sidley & Austin, who found a way into a big law firm through a clerking internship;
• Sharon Gitelle, who works at Forbes.com, and who has reinvented herself a number of times, going from lawyer to businesswoman to online/internet maven;
• and Sandy Gross, who started out on Wall Street and later founded one of the leading search firms placing senior financial executives in hedge funds and investment banks.
“Based on the feedback that I received … from a number of students, it seemed to have been a real success,” Shapiro says, “and if a few students and younger alums came away with a better sense for how to find jobs and manage their future careers, it will have been very worthwhile.”